Humans: The only species clever enough to see their doom, yet too stupid to stop it

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Moura
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We are the only species (as far as we know) with the intelligence to work out that we might become extinct - or seriously bottleneck - within the next 100-200 years because of our own actions (climate change & global warming)... yet we are still collectively too stupid/lazy/selfish to want to do anything about it.

What do you think about this?
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pereira325
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I'd go for selfish.
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hezzlington
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(Original post by Moura)
We are the only species (as far as we know) with the intelligence to work out that we might become extinct - or seriously bottleneck - within the next 100-200 years because of our own actions (climate change & global warming)... yet we are still collectively too stupid/lazy/selfish to want to do anything about it.

What do you think about this?
I think it's brilliant. The faster we die out the better.
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programmedrobot
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The aliens are far smarter than we are, go find them.
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study beats
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(Original post by Moura)
We are the only species (as far as we know) with the intelligence to work out that we might become extinct - or seriously bottleneck - within the next 100-200 years because of our own actions (climate change & global warming)... yet we are still collectively too stupid/lazy/selfish to want to do anything about it.

What do you think about this?
i think its great, finally everyone dies like the scums of the earth they are
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That'sGreat
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Firstly, it's not anywhere near 100 years, what a ridiculous statement. Secondly, climate change is affected by more than us, you've got volcanoes pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the air. And it's more to do with wanting to live a comfortable lifestyle, or save the humans from extinction in a few thousand years (minimum). I think I'd rather keep my TV and PS4 than waste my time building a wind turbine in my back garden
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username2763536
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(Original post by Moura)
We are the only species (as far as we know) with the intelligence to work out that we might become extinct - or seriously bottleneck - within the next 100-200 years because of our own actions (climate change & global warming)... yet we are still collectively too stupid/lazy/selfish to want to do anything about it.

What do you think about this?
Climate change won't wipe us out.What will wipe us out is when some idiot inevitably starts a nuclear war.Or when the population grows to a point where a mass pandemic becomes inevitable.Climate change will just cause a massive problem for a while,won't wipe us out though.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by Moura)
We are the only species (as far as we know) with the intelligence to work out that we might become extinct - or seriously bottleneck - within the next 100-200 years because of our own actions (climate change & global warming)... yet we are still collectively too stupid/lazy/selfish to want to do anything about it.

What do you think about this?
Hear me out for a minute - what if we are wrong about climate change? What would you say then? Humans - the only species stupid enough to convince themselves of their doom?

We do have a track record of it - pretty much every major religion has an armageddon ending.
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Dysf(x)al
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It's short-term thinking. You may have experienced this when procrastinating. Sure, we could roll back our lifestyle, avoid buying out-of-season/imported stuff, use public transport, fly less, build renewable power stations and avoid buying unneccesary stuff, but we quite like living the way we do. So we decide "Hey, let's wait until 2020 to sort this problem out!". 2020 comes, and instead of having (pun intended) 20:20 hindsight and realising that the situation is worse and acting upon it, we think "Hey, I think we can wait a few more years!". Typical.

I don't think we'll become extinct due to this (the only human-caused scenario I could think of is a massive nuclear war leaving tons of fallout and no health services), but if we mess up, countries will probably be fighting each other for resources like the last of the oil and of course water. There will be far more people than the Earth can sustain, and naturally our population will decline. Possibly to a few billion, possibly to a few hundred million. And our lifestyle will probably be set back several hundred years.
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Mr Dee Mented
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(Original post by Moura)
We are the only species (as far as we know) with the intelligence to work out that we might become extinct - or seriously bottleneck - within the next 100-200 years because of our own actions (climate change & global warming)... yet we are still collectively too stupid/lazy/selfish to want to do anything about it.

What do you think about this?
NOOOOOOOOO
I genuinely hate it when people say this - Humans are clever but are racing towards their own extinction?
XD How? With this "intelligence" we are working to prevent our extinction. We have not been selfish/lazy about the current issues just uneducated. Most people have only realised now the negative effect climate change has on our planet. So we have these summits - already there are agreements to lower CO2 emission. Its guaranteed it will be a slow process but at least we know from here on it won't get worse.
200 Years - No way. The only thing that can kill humans is if the sun stops burning but that won't be for another 100 million years, which by then we will have a good source of energy. CAUSE WE'RE HUMANS THAT WHAT WE DO.
In 200 years I can guarantee you there will be a 1000+ people on Mars and another thousand on the Moon. Don't worry we will colonise this galaxy and spread our species so far across the universe. Extinction is impossible!!!
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Dysf(x)al
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
Firstly, it's not anywhere near 100 years, what a ridiculous statement. Secondly, climate change is affected by more than us, you've got volcanoes pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the air. And it's more to do with wanting to live a comfortable lifestyle, or save the humans from extinction in a few thousand years (minimum). I think I'd rather keep my TV and PS4 than waste my time building a wind turbine in my back garden
While its true that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are tiny compared to natural ones, the balance is delicate. Before industrial times, the amount of CO2 emitted naturally was equal to the amount absorbed by plants for photosynthesis (plus other ways like captured in peat bogs and dissolved in water), so the CO2 level stayed at a constant 280ppm. But our little extra has pushed the level up to about 380ppm.

The big danger is that there is a lot of CO2 locked up in ice and permafrost. If it melts, it will release LOTS more CO2 and cause a runaway chain reaction. It's like a nuclear reactor - before we came along the reaction was ticking away nicely. But that little bit of influence we had (raising the control rods a little in this analogy) could cause it to go runaway and blow up in our face.

Now, we can live with TVs and PS4s while not straining the Earth, but we'd need a far lower population. Of course, we can't go and kill 80% of our species, which is why population reduction programmes are being put in place. Of course, this has its own problems - just look at China's gender imbalance caused by its One-Child Policy.

Everyone has to give and take a little. But I think you can still enjoy your TV and PS4 guilt-free for now.
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The Pepe
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No incentive to do anything. I'm sure we'll figure something out.
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Moura
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
Firstly, it's not anywhere near 100 years, what a ridiculous statement. Secondly, climate change is affected by more than us, you've got volcanoes pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the air. And it's more to do with wanting to live a comfortable lifestyle, or save the humans from extinction in a few thousand years (minimum). I think I'd rather keep my TV and PS4 than waste my time building a wind turbine in my back garden
[/QUOTE]

It's not a ridiculous statement. I said we might within the next 100-200 years. We will do much irreparable damage by the end of the first half of this century if we carry on as we are and alongside that will continue to grow exponentially. We are expected to reach near to max sustainable global population (at current living standards) by that point so the political situation is unpredictable, especially with the development of nuclear weapons all of this means we may seriously experience a bottleneck or extinction within that time frame.

Volcanoes are not the cause of the current rapid climate change we are currently observing, humans are.
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Gofre
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(Original post by Mr Dee Mented)
So we have these summits - already there are agreements to lower CO2 emission. Its guaranteed it will be a slow process but at least we know from here on it won't get worse.
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Zargabaath
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(Original post by hezzlington)
I think it's brilliant. The faster we die out the better.
these wouuuunds they will not heeaaaaaalll
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punhy
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tbh I think the majority of people don't give a **** because it won't affect them much. The majority of people alive today will all be dead before any of the major effects of climate change happen.
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Dheorl
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(Original post by Mr Dee Mented)
NOOOOOOOOO
I genuinely hate it when people say this - Humans are clever but are racing towards their own extinction?
XD How? With this "intelligence" we are working to prevent our extinction. We have not been selfish/lazy about the current issues just uneducated. Most people have only realised now the negative effect climate change has on our planet. So we have these summits - already there are agreements to lower CO2 emission. Its guaranteed it will be a slow process but at least we know from here on it won't get worse.
200 Years - No way. The only thing that can kill humans is if the sun stops burning but that won't be for another 100 million years, which by then we will have a good source of energy. CAUSE WE'RE HUMANS THAT WHAT WE DO.
In 200 years I can guarantee you there will be a 1000+ people on Mars and another thousand on the Moon. Don't worry we will colonise this galaxy and spread our species so far across the universe. Extinction is impossible!!!
Let's correct some things here. On a personal level we are very selfish about climate change. Sure, our governments are signing bits of paper, but teenagers are still jetting off to Asia to sit on a beach and get drunk, people are still walking around houses warm enough to be in just a t-shirt in the middle of winter and public transport and cycling are often stereotyped as the transport options of the poor instead of the responsible.

Secondly, the sun will go on in a suitable state for more than 100million years, but when it does go it's of a suitable size currently its death will pretty much engulf the earth. It won't be a problem of not having a source of energy, it will be a problem of having no atmosphere, no water and extreme temperatures.

The much more likely causes of our extinction will be volcanoes, meteors, wars, disease. Whether or not we can find solutions to these before they kill us is anyones guess.
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Vikingninja
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(Original post by Dheorl)
Let's correct some things here. On a personal level we are very selfish about climate change. Sure, our governments are signing bits of paper, but teenagers are still jetting off to Asia to sit on a beach and get drunk, people are still walking around houses warm enough to be in just a t-shirt in the middle of winter and public transport and cycling are often stereotyped as the transport options of the poor instead of the responsible.

Secondly, the sun will go on in a suitable state for more than 100million years, but when it does go it's of a suitable size currently its death will pretty much engulf the earth. It won't be a problem of not having a source of energy, it will be a problem of having no atmosphere, no water and extreme temperatures.

The much more likely causes of our extinction will be volcanoes, meteors, wars, disease. Whether or not we can find solutions to these before they kill us is anyones guess.
Well to that last list of things at the bottom and any other possible cause of extinction... no we probably won't find a solution, either the event would be so massive against us or because we are pretty **** when it comes to wars because lets face it finding peace will basically never happen. At this point with global warming being a cause of extinction, its not going to be stopped now even if we end emissions now.
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Dheorl
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
Well to that last list of things at the bottom and any other possible cause of extinction... no we probably won't find a solution, either the event would be so massive against us or because we are pretty **** when it comes to wars because lets face it finding peace will basically never happen. At this point with global warming being a cause of extinction, its not going to be stopped now even if we end emissions now.
Meteors there's viable options within the next hundred years. Atm we already have the option of a "hail Mary" nuke which although low probability might at least reduce damage. We do also have quite a bit of experience at surviving disease these days, it's just a case of one potentially adapting faster than we can, but it won't be a set race from the start.
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Plagioclase
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If anybody's actually interested in the main catastrophic risks facing humanity in the short-mid term future, according to Bostrom and Circovic's Global Catastrophic Risk, they are:
  • Pandemic (and closely related, biological warfare or terrorism)
  • Nuclear war
  • Global authoritarianism
  • Artificial Intelligence and related technological issues.

Climate change is by itself unlikely to be a global catastrophic risk (defined as posing a terminal risk to humanity) but increases the likelihood of other risks (particularly warfare) and unlike the other risks which have comparatively low probabilities, climate change is a near certainty.
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